Lactobacillus reuteri in acute chemotherapy induced diarrhoea

Open trial on patients treated with chemotherapy for colon cancer, and the effects of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 on diarrhoea, abdominal pain and safety.

116 patients were randomised to ingest Lactobacillus reuteri (1 x 10^8 CFU/day) for 60 days (n=58) or no probiotic supplement (n=58). Daily intake of Lactobacillus reuteri significantly increased the proportion of patients that were free from diarrhoea compared to the control group: 62% and 50%, respectively.


Patients who ingested Lactobacillus reuteri and got diarrhoea were less likely to have grade 2 diarrhoea events than patients in the control group: 28% (6/22) vs. 90% (26/29). (Grade 2 = increase of 4-6 stools over baseline but not interfering with activities of daily living.)

Abdominal pain control was completely obtained in 86% in the L. reuteri group vs. 79% in the control group. Lactobacillus reuteri was safe to ingest for this type of patients.

Conclusions: The supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri was safe and minimized the diarrhoea incidence in colon cancer patients receiving fluorofolates with or without oxaliplatin. Abdominal pain was also reduced.